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Eros v. Leatherwood CaptionA default judgment (.pdf) was recently entered for Eros, LLC of Lutz, Florida against defendant Robert Leatherwood of North Richland Hills, Texas, by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Eros originally brought the suit against a fictitious defendant (also known as a “John Doe” defendant) who was identified in the complaint only as Second Life avatar “Volkov Catteneo.” Eros claimed the user controlling the Catteneo account had made and offered for sale unauthorized copies of Eros’ popular adult avatar animation products.

Eros named Leatherwood as its “John Doe” defendant in this case after subpoenas to Second Life provider Linden Lab, PayPal, AT&T, and Charter Communications led to computers in two locations allegedly used by Leatherwood.

Leatherwood, who originally protested his affiliation with the Catteneo account in a Tampa Tribune article, did not answer or otherwise respond to the copyright and trademark infringement complaint in the 20 days alloted by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP 12). The default judgment was entered against him pursuant to FRCP 55. Reuters reported that Eros would seek default judgment earlier this month, shortly before default was entered.

A default judgment operates largely the same as a judgment on the merits, allowing Eros to seek damages, fees, and injunctive relief, and to use the judicial system to pursue Leatherwood’s assets to satisfy an award.

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6 Responses to “Eros v. Leatherwood Update – Default Entered”

  1. on 29 Nov 2007 at 12:52 amBenjamin Duranske

    Big hat tip to Kate Fitz, who runs the fantastic virtual law resource, Lawspot Online, for the heads-up on this.

  2. on 29 Nov 2007 at 7:10 amcyn vandeverre

    However, it sounds like Leatherwood has nearly no assets from which to recover damages. Does Stroker end up walking away empty-handed, or can he put liens on future earnings in some way?

  3. [...] the alleged perpetrator didn’t answer the filing, which means that a default judgement was entered. Now, the aggrieved party can seek damages. Once [...]

  4. on 29 Nov 2007 at 6:06 pmBenjamin Duranske

    Garnishment of wages is a possiblity, but the bigger benefit to a plaintiff in a case like this is making it completely clear to everyone else that copyright infringement won’t be tolerated. Stroker (Eros) may not get much out of the deal in the long run, but I suspect he viewed the potential for an outcome where he wins, but gets little, as a part of the expense of protecting his IP in the long term.

  5. on 29 Nov 2007 at 9:28 pmTimothy Zapotocky

    It is odd that Robert Leatherwood never answered the charges…especially since “Volkov Catteneo” claims to be someone other than Leatherwood. Leatherwood is still is on the hook for a few thousand dollars plus Stroker’s legal fees (which are probably more than a few thousand bucks.) Is Leatherwood serving as a stooge for the real Catteneo? And is his tacit admission that he is Catteneo definitive?

    BTW, can anyone answer this: if Leatherwood goes bankrupt, does he still have to pay the penalties from this case, or would he be off the hook? Would it be possible (and/or worth the trouble) for the creditor (presumably, Eros LLC) to challenge the bankruptcy discharge on the grounds that someone other than Leatherwood actually owes the debt (and/or that Leatherwood in fact has assets)?

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